home           about           reviews           author insight           review policy

Friday, September 30, 2016

The Progeny by Tosca Lee

Release Date: May 24, 2016
Publisher: Howard Books
Age Group: Adult
Source: Publisher
Series: Descendants of the House of Bathory #1
Pages: 336
Buy: Amazon | Barnes & Noble |
IndieBound | Book Depository
Description: Goodreads
Emily Jacobs is the descendant of a serial killer. Now, she’s become the hunted.

She’s on a quest that will take her to the secret underground of Europe and the inner circles of three ancient orders—one determined to kill her, one devoted to keeping her alive, and one she must ultimately save.

Filled with adrenaline, romance, and reversals, The Progeny is the present-day saga of a 400-year-old war between the uncanny descendants of “Blood Countess” Elizabeth Bathory, the most prolific female serial killer of all time, and a secret society dedicated to erasing every one of her descendants. A story about the search for self filled with centuries-old intrigues against the backdrop of atrocity and hope. 
Imagine waking up with no memory of your life before, knowing that this is a choice you made, even though the reason why has been erased. That’s the choice that Emily Jacobs made. For some reason. But now, a past that she can’t remember is catching up with her and she has no idea who she can trust.

As part of an ancient bloodline that has been hunted for centuries, Emily must navigate underground societies while running from an order determined to exterminate them. By following bread crumbs she left for herself, she starts to unravel some secrets that have been hidden for centuries and others she gave up everything to keep hidden.

Opening the story with Emily not knowing who she is was a clever device for introducing the reader to the world of the Descendants of the House of Bathory. As our heroine discovers this secret society, Tosca Lee is able to avoid clunky exposition while she reveals these strange new worlds. The secretive underground nightlife is full of rich parties and hedonistic characters that are fun places in which to get lost. I would love to attend an all-night secret masquerade ball. Or would have 10 years ago.

The search to unravel her past is full of twists and turns, which I thought were often predictable, but still very fun. When Emily can’t remember anyone she knew before, she has to trust her instinct about who and what is safe, and it doesn’t always serve her well. As her path takes direction and her true friends become clear, Emily finally starts to understand for what she was willing to sacrifice herself.

An exciting romance, chases around the world, secret societies, forgotten pasts, and all night parties: this is a strong start to a new series that will have readers turning pages.

Monday, September 26, 2016

A Curious Beginning by Deanna Raybourn or An Open Letter to a Beloved Author

Check out this gorgeous paperback cover!!!
Release Date: July 12, 2016
Publisher: Berkley
Age Group: Adult
Source: Publisher
Series: Veronica Speedwell #1
Pages: 368
Buy: Amazon | Barnes & Noble |
IndieBound | Book Depository
Description: Goodreads
London, 1887. After burying her spinster aunt, orphaned Veronica Speedwell is free to resume her world travels in pursuit of scientific inquiry—and the occasional romantic dalliance. As familiar with hunting butterflies as with fending off admirers, Veronica intends to embark upon the journey of a lifetime.

But fate has other plans when Veronica thwarts her own attempted abduction with the help of an enigmatic German baron, who offers her sanctuary in the care of his friend Stoker, a reclusive and bad-tempered natural historian. But before the baron can reveal what he knows of the plot against her, he is found murdered—leaving Veronica and Stoker on the run from an elusive assailant as wary partners in search of the villainous truth. 
Dear Deanna,

How do I love thee? There is not enough room on this blog to count the ways, but that won’t stop me from trying to articulate a few of them here.
  1. You create strong female characters who are very much in their time while being independent and making their own way in the world with cleverness and poise. Veronica Speedwell is a fully realized woman in the vein of Lady Julia Grey and for this, and all your stouthearted and clever heroines, I thank you.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Best Frints in the Whole Universe
by Antoinette Portis

Release Date: July 5, 2016
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
Age Group: Children's
Source: Publisher
Pages: 40
Amazon | Barnes & Noble |
IndieBound | Book Depository
Description: Goodreads
Yelfred and Omek have been best frints since they were little blobbies. They play and snack, and sometimes they even fight, all in a language similar to but slightly different from, English. When Omek decides to borrow Yelfred's new spaceship without asking (and then crashes it), it sparks the biggest fight yet. Can these two best frints make up and move on?

Award-winning picture book creator Antoinette Portis delivers a new universe of cleverness and imagination in this hilarious, sweet, and otherworldly book about friendship.
 Six months ago, I had no idea what Best Frints in the Whole Universe even was. I couldn't have told you who wrote it, what it was about or even what the cover looked like. Now, I can't stop talking about this wonderful picture book. 

I picked it up on a whim while at ALA Midwinter, and had no idea how much I'd enjoy it. Looking back, it's so appropriate that I read this tale of friendship and its ups and downs with one of  my best friends --Tess! We found ourselves smiling and laughing out loud at Yelfred and Omek's antics, and we were instantly their biggest fans. 

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

A Study in Charlotte
by Brittany Cavallaro

Release Date: March 1, 2016
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Series: Charlotte Holmes #1
Age Group: Young Adult
Source: Publisher
Pages: 321
Buy: Amazon / Barnes & Noble /
IndieBound / Book Depository
Description: Goodreads
The last thing Jamie Watson wants is a rugby scholarship to Sherringford, a Connecticut prep school just an hour away from his estranged father. But that’s not the only complication: Sherringford is also home to Charlotte Holmes, the famous detective’s great-great-great-granddaughter, who has inherited not only Sherlock’s genius but also his volatile temperament. From everything Jamie has heard about Charlotte, it seems safer to admire her from afar.

From the moment they meet, there’s a tense energy between them, and they seem more destined to be rivals than anything else. But when a Sherringford student dies under suspicious circumstances, ripped straight from the most terrifying of the Sherlock Holmes stories, Jamie can no longer afford to keep his distance. Jamie and Charlotte are being framed for murder, and only Charlotte can clear their names. But danger is mounting and nowhere is safe—and the only people they can trust are each other.

Picture a world in which Holmes and Watson literally roamed the streets of London solving crimes. Yes, not just in the hearts and minds of enamored readers everywhere. Now, several generations later, what would the legacies of those families have become? Well, I’m glad you asked, because that is what Jamie Watson and Charlotte Holmes are learning for themselves at boarding school as they are thrown together by an unknown villain framing them for murders on campus that recreate Sherlockian crimes.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

BEA 2016 Recap

A few weeks ago I had the the privilege of attending Book Expo America -- the largest publishing trade show in North America -- which is always an amazing experience!

The best way to describe it is cornucopia of the publishing world, including established and debut authors of all genres, panels on industry trends and, as you'd expect, plenty of books.

Book Expo has historically made it's home in New York City, but this year the show had a change of venue, moving to Chicago and McCormick Place. Of course, the largest convention center in North America would be a fitting place to house the largest publishing trade show on the continent.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Celebrating Audiobooks with
June is Audiobook Month

Summer is right around the corner, and the book world's unofficial kick-off is here!

It's June is Audiobook Month (#JIAM), so prepare to trade chapters for tracks and let's get listening. Whether it's on a road trip or while you're cleaning house, audiobooks are the perfect way to keep reading even when you aren't in a position to pick up a book.